Dr. Steve Friend, medical director of U.S. HealthWorks in West Sacramento, spends his days taking care of patients, and at the end of the day he heads home to perform care-taking of a different kind – tending to a farm of alpacas.
His wife, Michelle, is a veterinarian, and the two have been raising and breeding alpacas for about 14 years. Michelle has been treating alpacas exclusively for more than 18 years.
The Friend family owns a five-acre ranch in Granite Bay, California – a suburb of Sacramento – and is currently raising about 30 alpacas. Steve and Michelle have two young children, a son and a daughter, who help with the daily care for the alpacas, which includes feeding, watering, cleaning, sheering, vaccinations, dental care and general herd health maintenance.
Dr. Friend grew up on a farm, and he thinks it’s important to instill the value of hard work in children at a young age.
Recently, a reporter with GoodDay Sacramento, the morning show for Sacramento’s CBS affiliate, visited the Granite Bay alpaca family farm to interview Steve and Michelle about their farm. Steve’s children were excited when the TV truck and TV cameras arrived at their farm.
“It’s a lot of work, but very rewarding in many ways,” Steve said. “It really is a blessing to be involved in the care of these amazing animals.”
To learn more about the alpaca farm, you can visit their website: www.granitebayalpacas.com.